On Leadership, and Dissection of Homeless Situation in Montreal

Whenever one talks about leadership, we think of a person walking in the front of all.

There are, many types of leaderships. This time, I want to document someone who is contagious, charismatic, persistent and intelligent.

Her way of leading almost reminds me of a rather original way of leading.

An old man in ancient China tried to remove a mountain in front of his house. He started by his own, and slowly, his action and motive attracted even more people to do the same thing and join his cause. All because this person kept doing it. Whilst you are consistently doing something, with a goal that is honorable or justifiable, people will hear your voice and subsequently join.

So I think, such leadership can be typed as a great combination of persistency, charisma and intelligence. Charisma attracts followers, persistency keeps the cause going and intelligence gives the cause strategies to plow through things easier.

When it is near the end, you have to keep on what you are doing. Some people quit at that time, they waver. You have to keep who you are, push them, sometimes even a bit more aggressive, stand your ground, keep persistent. And in the end, everything will just fall into place.

Such great insight comes from somebody who keeps getting NOs from her cause. However only due to such insight gives her the power to keep going, such grit lets her meet a few YESes, and by those YESes, she’s got much more than the cause, and herself, deserved.

This part of her life is reminiscing to me. I remember when I was in high school, there was a show I created for my team. One guy quit near the end, I got super angry and turned a cold-face to him. But my approach was different than this woman’s. Her seems to be more gentle and soothing. Mine is high pressure towards others, there is no encouragement. But I think I’ve changed ever since that, still, my approach is different than hers, and I ponder the difference and resemblance.

But I can see that, people quit easily frankly. A lot of people quit in the middle of a process, due to many many things. The job of a leader, is to keep these unstable elements out of a team, and amend those who waver. People waver easily, these things vastly attribute to all kinds of psychological, social, and life issues. A leader needs to have the wisdom, and the grit, to solve these issues.


When I talked about the homeless situation with her in Montreal, the problem seems to root deep inside the economy of Quebec, and the system of the city.

Are the homeless deserved to be helped? I sometimes question myself.

“Are we doing the right thing, Karen?”

Maybe not, maybe we just try to make ourselves feel good.”

The homeless here sometimes see others’ offerings as threats. They think the food people gave to them is poisonous. They sometimes want only money so they can buy more cracks. Sometimes they are even ungrateful to others’ generosity. And sometimes there are people pretending to be homeless and exploit others’ kindness, and this is one major crime that I can not tolerate.

Do they really need our help?

I just know, I know everybody needs a lift at some point of their life. I need one, you need one, and they all need one.


Montreal is a city functions on a rigid basis. Such system makes the poor poorer and the rich richer. The matured western system imposes harsh rules on normal people, and ask them to behave. This is all under the disguise that it is for the greater good of the society. And they subsequently frame the rules with ethics and morality. So normal people in the west are not just obedient, but also very prone to accept rules.

Rich people are a completely difference scenario. We’ve seen countless examples of giant corporations getting tax exemptions, and rich people tax evasions. This system rewards the rich. They are granted more freedom, more leeway, and more legroom on a plane, or even better, a first class suite. They can only benefit from such system without losing much.

Here’s an interesting thing about the system. North America, or the States, functions on a capital basis. And China, on the other hand, functions on a power basis.

So if you juxtapose two systems together, the only difference would be that the States values money more than power, and China values power more than money. Either possession can get you into the upper class of the society, and you can either get richer, or get more powerful.

But there is a catch. Money seems to be more human-talking than power. Power usually is inherited from previous generations and hardly ever grows itself up in an authoritarian system. Money, empowers the growth of a power.


At the bottom rung of Montreal, racial diversity seems to be extremely huge on this playground. Most homeless are minorities–Latin Americans, Aborigines, Asians, Black, Arabians/Persians. Basically all the immigrants that come to this country have a much much higher chance than white people, to become homeless in the city. There are white homeless though, they are mixed between the minorities.

This proves a simple fact, if racism does not exist, this should be impossible to see. However, it does exist.

Usually minorities becoming homeless can attribute to just poverty, or mental unstableness, plus racism.

However, the whites. That’s a completely different story.

The white homeless is strangely bizarre that it encompasses an age range from 15 to 65 years old. Which is completely unseeable for minorities.

The reasons are extremely diverse and complicated. Some become homeless because of parental abuse. Some become homeless because they want to live such way of life. Some become homeless because they are drug addicts. And there are more. And I think the white homeless best represent the dark side of a mature system made by the westerners. All of these reasons are rooted deep inside the society because of, well, free market, and mass production.

But Montreal, this very city, is different than all other major cities in Canada. Quebec suffers from economic downstream in the past few years. Toronto, and Vancouver, definitely seem to have a much better view than Montreal. Montreal is old and kind of broke. In Toronto, you don’t even see homeless on the streets. In Montreal, homeless people beg for their lives in the cold nights of Christmas. Maybe because Quebecois are communist huh?  😆 

Another thing I want to point out is that the homeless situation here is definitely much much better than people living in second world and third world.

Homeless in China are not called homeless, they are beggars. Literally beggars. They don’t have a place to live at all, no shelter provided from the government, and no food to eat as well. Nowadays I see less and less beggars on the streets in China, but not sure if it’s due to the economic blossom, or that simple our police are removing them. But either way, homeless situation is incomparable to the west. So, even there are nice and generous people actively working on this issue, but there are worse cases out there in the world.


This is already Christmas for me.

When we stumbled inside the Red Roof shelter, the administrator of the shelter said this to us. From that moment, it was quite a week before Christmas, I felt very moved. Alongside the piano music in the background, and a bunch of people warming up by the food and shelter, this is already Christmas for me. 

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